Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So long, and thanks for all the fish

Here’s a great story on "goodbye" emails,

And the all-time best ever:

Dear Co-Workers and Managers,

As many of you probably know, today is my last day. But before I leave, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a great and distinct pleasure it has been to type "Today is my last day."

For nearly as long as I've worked here, I've hoped that I might one day leave this company. And now that this dream has become a reality, please know that I could not have reached this goal without your unending lack of support. Words cannot express my gratitude for the words of gratitude you did not express.

I would especially like to thank all of my managers both past and present but with the exception of the wonderful Saroj Hariprashad: in an age where miscommunication is all too common, you consistently impressed and inspired me with the sheer magnitude of your misinformation, ignorance and intolerance for true talent. It takes a strong man to admit his mistake - it takes a stronger man to attribute his mistake to me.

Over the past seven years, you have taught me more than I could ever ask for and, in most cases, ever did ask for. I have been fortunate enough to work with some absolutely interchangeable supervisors on a wide variety of seemingly identical projects - an invaluable lesson in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium in overcoming daily tedium.

Your demands were high and your patience short, but I take great solace knowing that my work was, as stated on my annual review, "meets expectation." That is the type of praise that sends a man home happy after a 10 hour day, smiling his way through half a bottle of meets expectation scotch with a meets expectation cigar. Thanks Trish!

And to most of my peers: even though we barely acknowledged each other within these office walls, I hope that in the future, should we pass on the street, you will regard me the same way as I regard you: sans eye contact.

But to those few souls with whom I've actually interacted, here are my personalized notes of farewell:

To Philip Cress, I will not miss hearing you cry over absolutely nothing while laying blame on me and my coworkers. Your racial comments about Joe Cobbinah were truly offensive and I hope that one day you might gain the strength to apologize to him.

To Brenda Ashby whom is long gone, I hope you find a manager that treats you as poorly as you have treated us. I worked harder for you then any manager in my career and I regret every ounce of it. Watching you take credit for my work was truly demoralizing.

To Sylvia Keenan, you should learn how to keep your mouth shut sweet heart.

Bad mouthing the innocent is a negative thing, especially when your talking about someone who knows your disgusting secrets. ; )

To Bob Malvin (Mr. Cronyism Jr), well, I wish you had more of a back bone.

You threw me to the wolves with that witch Brenda and I learned all too much from it. I still can't believe that after following your instructions, I ended up getting written up, wow. Thanks for the experience buddy, lesson learned.

Don Merritt (Mr. Cronyism Sr), I'm happy that you were let go in the same manner that you have handed down to my dedicated coworkers. Hearing you on the phone last year brag about how great bonuses were going to be for you fellas in upper management because all of the lay offs made me nearly vomit.

I never expected to see management benefit financially from the suffering of scores of people but then again, with this company's rooted history in the slave trade it only makes sense.

To all of the executives of this company, Jamie Dimon and such. Despite working through countless managers that practiced unethical behavior, racism, sexism, jealousy and cronyism, I have benefited tremendously by working here and I truly thank you for that. There was once a time where hard work was rewarded and acknowledged, it's a pity that all of our positive output now falls on deaf ears and passes blind eyes. My advice for you is to place yourself closer to the pulse of this company and enjoy the effort and dedication of us "faceless little people" more. There are many great people that are being over worked and mistreated but yet are still loyal not to those who abuse them but to the greater mission of providing excellent customer support. Find them and embrace them as they will help battle the cancerous plague that is ravishing the moral of this company.

So, in parting, if I could pass on any word of advice to the lower salary recipient ("because it's good for the company") in India or Tampa who will soon be filling my position, it would be to cherish this experience because a job opportunity like this comes along only once in a lifetime.

Meaning: if I had to work here again in this lifetime, I would sooner kill myself.

To those who I have held a great relationship with, I will miss being your co-worker and will cherish our history together. Please don't bother responding as at this very moment I am most likely in my car doing 85 with the windows down listening to Biggie.


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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Management tip of the day

Here’s today’s management tip. 

If you have a project that’s not going fast enough, or has less than desired quality, get everybody in a room.  I mean everybody, even people who have nothing to do with the project. 

Then start encouraging people to work harder.  Not necessarily smarter, just harder.

Be sure to avoid any talk about how you found yourself in this situation.  That will only muddy the waters.

At all costs, do not accept blame for anything.

How could this go wrong?


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Friday, February 13, 2009

The mating call of the loser

Raymond reminds me, I am a loser.


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Way back in high school, when I was playing the guitar a lot, I stumbled across the Dire Straits album, Alchemy.

It made me want to burn my guitar.  Especially the smoking solo in Sultans of Swing.

I’ve been listening to that album a lot lately, and it still makes me want to burn my guitar.  Although, now that my daughter is learning to play, I might keep it around…


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Bad luck

It's bad luck to be superstitious.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Curling team photo of the year

It seems that most curling team photos are of the blurry, off-kilter variety, shot in a poorly-lit curling club.

But THIS is a good curling team photo.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Overheard at the Tankard

Some quotes from today's Tankard action:

"I think we've got to go like we've never gone."

- Ken McDermot, sweeping manically

"Is he watching the other sheet? Jesus Christ..."

- not sure who, but it was someone on the Frans team, after Joe missed a line call

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Gas pains

The other day I was filling up the car at a local gas station. I prefer to 'pay at the pump' because it gets me on my way much faster. The instructions at this gas station were a little... odd.

Step one: Insert payment card.

Ok, I can do that.

Step two: Choose account, enter PIN.

Ok, I can do that.

Step three: Would you like a fill up?

WTF? Why else would I be standing there at 8:00 in the morning , in -25 degree weather? Where's the "Of course, you damn machine" button?

One day I'm going to answer 'No' to that stupid question, just to see what the thing does.

Answer of the day

From a C# newsgroup:

> Why should I use C# programming rather than C++?

Why should you learn to swim rather than to drive?

Back in the saddle, part 2

After yesterday afternoon's beating, Glenn wasn't done.

Looks like you don't want to play these guys after they've lost a game.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Back in the saddle

What do you do the day after your sweepers drag a rock a few inches too far, on a shot that should have won the game?

You kick the crap out of the next team you play.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Water, water, everywhere

On Saturday, team JugOrNot was playing in the Striploin Classic, a meat-spiel at the home club. We were waiting behind the glass for the ice crew to finish up on our sheet before the last game, when all of a sudden there was a commotion by the stairs down to the ice.

I heard someone cursing a blue streak, and saw one of the club members dragging a half-empty jug of water up the stairs. The jug had tipped over, and the lid blew off, pouring water all over the back boards and the ice behind the hack.

I looked out onto the ice, and saw the blue rocks swimming in two inches of water. I said, at the exact same time as the opposition's lead, "We're taking yellow!"

The ice crew raced over with a mop and a scraper, and started cleaning up. A roll of paper towels later, the rocks were nearly dry.

We ended up losing the coin toss, and had to settle for the blue rocks. I flipped the number one rock up to clean it off, and spent a good minute scraping the ice and slush off the bottom. Good thing we weren't on the clock in this game...

In the end, the swamping didn't really make much difference. The ice and slush was gone by the second end, and the water was scraped off quickly enough that it didn't cause much trouble around the hack. Still pretty funny, though. And we did end up winning.

Strong name validation failed

Our product is a mix of C++ and C# code. There's a whack of unmanaged C++ stuff that's wrapped in two Managed C++ projects. The C# side of things references the managed C++ assemblies.

Until lately, it all worked fine. I recently updated my machine to Vista, and that's when I started seeing something strange.

All of a sudden, the two managed C++ assemblies were crapping out - the C# project complained that the strong name validation failed. I opened a command prompt and tried to verify the assemblies.
sn -v my-failing-assembly.dll
And it told me that the assembly was not properly signed.

Trying the same thing on a machine running Windows XP produced the same results, but the compiler didn't seem to care. Only on Vista would it refuse to build.

I loaded up the C++ solution and looked to see how we were signing the assemblies. Turns out we had the "old style" signing attributes, in the AssemblyInfo.cpp. We recently moved to Visual Studio 2008, and we skipped this part. The signing is now handled in a similar fashion to the way it's done in C# projects - as a project property.

In this case, it's a one-liner in the Linker properties.

I still can't explain why XP lets this through, and Vista doesn't, except that maybe XP only looks to see if the assembly is signed, and doesn't care if it's not a valid signature.